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CREW experimentation at CTVR

January 12, 2011

We are participating in an FP7 project called CREW. CREW stands for Cognitive Radio Experimental World. The details can be found by following the link above. The next CREW meeting is taking place in CTVR this week. CREW is all about experimental cognitive radio testbeds. So as part of that meeting we will be doing our first set of experimentations.

The first of the FP7 CREW. experiments took place in CTVR today. The experiments were all about sensing. In applications likes Dynamic Spectrum Access radios need to sense the radio environment in order to determine whether spectrum is free or not. It can be difficult to determine whether a signal exists or not because typically there is so much noise in existence – weak signals can be hard to distinguish from noise. The experimentation today involved sensing a specific signal using different techniques simultaneously  in order to compare the techniques. Different hardware and software was used in the different sensing techniques. Mostly energy sensing techniques were used though one of the techniques was a featured based technique. The purpose of the experiments is to compare performance. In the long term we want to develop mechanisms for benchmarking cognitive radio systems and the simple set of experiments is a first step. Proper results will be posted at a later date.

Some of the equipment used during our experiments

The photo above shows the screen shot of the DVB feature detector sensing in action. It is using a USRP as an RF frontend. On the right is the IMEC wideband radio development board. The radio itself can take in any signal from 100 MHz to 6 GHz. The radio is tiny – a few mm squared. It is on a large development board. This was used to collect samples and they were analysed on the PC. Other hardware consisted of t-motes and we also used Wi-Spy kits. The whole CREW team were involved. It was great to see everyone busily working on the sensing. More measurements tomorrow!

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